LOPEZ-owned Energy Development Corp. (EDC) was granted a patent by the Bureau of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office for its on-line Steam Purity Monitoring system.

The system, developed by EDC's geoscientists and technical services engineers, and installed in all the company's project sites since 1996, provides quick, reliable and continuous real time data of geothermal steam supplied during normal plant operations for immediate response to system upsets.

"We are proud of this very first patented invention of the company because it proves the world-class ingenuity and expertise of EDC in geothermal production. The on-line steam purity monitoring system is another EDC innovation that makes our operations more efficient, cost-effective and safe," EDC President and COO Richard Tantoco said.

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Prior to the development of the technology EDC relied on the manual method involving a five-man shifting crew to conduct the sampling of steam condensate.

The data would be available only after 24 hours.

Since EDC implemented the on-line steam purity monitoring system, it has realized gross savings of up to P314 million from 1996 up to 2005.

Tantoco added that EDC has pending patent applications for four other technologies it has developed through the years.

"These are the results of our long-term commitment to make our operations truly world-class. We have been developing and applying practical technologies to improve resource management in our geothermal sites. Our experience in managing five geothermal project sites for the past 34 years has enabled us to study various situations and problems related to resource management and invent technologies to address them. This is an achievement that fortifies EDC's leadership and expertise in the geothermal industry," he said.

EDC owns and operates geothermal steamfields in Leyte, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Sorsogon and North Cotabato with a combined capacity of 1,199 MW, as well as the 701.5-MW Unified Leyte, 192.5-MW Palinpinon, 106-MW Mindanao and 49-MW Northern Negros geothermal power plants. (MSN/Sunnex)